Sunday 20th August 2017

How I Learn Best. #LifeThisWeek 21/52. 2017.71.

How I Learn Best. #LifeThisWeek 21/52. 2017.71.

I am revisiting this post today here with Sammie  for her weekend linky The Ultimate Rabbit Hole on 17.6.2017.

There are some people who like to learn in particular ways and I have always found that fascinating. When I was teaching University students doing their Masters of Teaching I would ask them if they knew their preferred learning style. Some would not until I asked questions such as: “do you want to see everything written to absorb your learning?” (V)

“do you like to talk something through?” (A)

“are you someone who likes to move about, play with the pen and chew it as you are learning?” (K)

Now I understand these are very basic examples of: Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learning styles. Recently there has been some debunking of the theory but as an experienced teacher and parent I still maintain it is important we know our learning styles and therefore get to know the styles of our  family members, class members, colleagues and so on. But why?

C O M M U N I C A T I O N      and   C O N N E C T I O N   with our fellow humans!

Often we use some of each of the 3 learning styles but there is usually a preference for one. My quiz results (from the link below) confirmed what has always been the case for me: I am V.K.A. Visual is waaaay ahead with a score here of 17, Kinaesthetric scored 10 and Auditory was….1. So, I need to see, read, note and often write as a learn. That way I am using my visual style, and adding in the writing I am using the need to move. I have so many notes that are illegible but by writing I have been using two styles to remember and learn. I am also a picture person. I see scenes, words and stories all the time in my head. Visual.

What I learned a long time ago is “not everyone learns or even thinks like I do” this was a shock but actually it showed my ignorance and I have never made that mistake since. I was in a meeting with my office secretary and staff and we were planning and I asked about imagining some scenario that would help our planning move forward. My secretary looked at me blankly and with some gentle probing I was astounded when she told me she had no idea about visualising anything and she was, apparently, a  kinaesthetic and auditory learner.

I never assumed anyone’s learning style from that day! I also know that I am visually oriented first by my love of photography, reading, creating art and so on. I don’t mind music but I cannot listen when I want to concentrate. My husband is more auditory and kinaesthetic with visual last. He always has music on when studying.

This is a link to a quiz from Swinburne University which you (or anyone) can take but it needs to be printed out first. There is also an explanation about the meanings of the learning styles.

VAK Learning Styles Explanation

The VAK learning styles model suggests that most people can be divided into one of three preferred styles of learning. These three styles are as follows, (and there is no right or wrong learning style):

  •  Someone with a Visual learning style has a preference for seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc. These people will use phrases such as ‘show me’, ‘let’s have a look at that’ and will be best able to perform a new task after reading the instructions or watching someone else do it first. These are the people who will work from lists and written directions and instructions.
  •  Someone with an Auditory learning style has a preference for the transfer of information through listening: to the spoken word, of self or others, of sounds and noises. These people will use phrases such as ‘tell me’, ‘let’s talk it over’ and will be best able to perform a new task after listening to instructions from an expert. These are the people who are happy being given spoken instructions over the telephone, and can remember all the words to songs that they hear!
  •  Someone with a Kinaesthetic learning style has a preference for physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences. These people will use phrases such as ‘let me try’, ‘how do you feel?’ and will be best able to perform a new task by going ahead and trying it out, learning as they go. These are the people who like to experiment, hands-on, and never look at the instructions first!People commonly have a main preferred learning style, but this will be part of a blend of all three. Some people have a very strong preference; other people have a more even mixture of two or less commonly, three styles.When you know your preferred learning style(s) you understand the type of learning that best suits you. This enables you to choose the types of learning that work best for you.There is no right or wrong learning style. The point is that there are types of learning that are right for your own preferred learning style.Please note that this is not a scientifically validated testing instrument – it is a free assessment tool designed to give a broad indication of preferred learning style(s).More information about learning styles, personality, and personal development is at www.businessballs.com.With acknowledgements to Victoria Chislett for developing this assessment.  Swinburne University.

I chose this prompt today because it is relevant for us all.

It is good to know what your preferred learning style is for any given situation, even cooking!
And if you are a parent it is important to realise that your learning style may not be your children’s and then that can maximise understanding and minimise conflict!
So, do you know ‘how you learn best?’
I hope this has been a helpful post!
Denyse.

Thank you for being part of Life This Week.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week. * You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Hobbies”.

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Thanks Mr Duffy. 2017.66.

Thanks Mr Duffy. 2017.66.

A long time ago, blogger, now writer Catherine Rodie, asked for people to respond to this for a series of blog posts when Catherine had her blog:

“if you could, who would you like to have a cup of tea with?” The original post was “A Cup of Tea With Mr Duffy”.

Today I have refreshed the post, to add it here, for the first time on my blog.

Enjoy!

The classroom on the left was my Year 5 room and also where I did my first teaching prac. The coloured building in the background was the library. Taken on a trip back to the school in 2013.

I gave some thought to who I’d like to have a cup of tea with, it was an obvious choice.

Mr Duffy.

It would need to be at 11.00 a.m. on a school day in the Balgowlah Heights Primary School staffroom. That is a room at the end of the wooden building closest to the headmaster’s office where Mr Piper rules via a loud voice and a stern manner.

Walking up the wooden steps and holding onto the rail, I can feel the timber underneath the flaking paint. I notice that the school hasn’t had the public works painters in for a while. As I reach the verandah, a smell emanates from the left, as does the plume of grey. Of course, teachers can smoke in the staffroom! And in the playground. But not in the classroom. It IS 1960!

Slowly moving towards the screen door, I hear the words “oh Ian, you were great last week with the cricket team those boys really go well against Manly West.” Then as I raise my hand to knock and ask if Mr Duffy is there, Mrs Ridley rushes up and wants to know “what do you want Denyse Simpson, we are having our cups of tea?” I reply, “I am here to see Mr Duffy if he’s here.”

“Greg, that girl from your class who likes helping in the library is here, Denyse Simpson, can you see her?” I stepped back and waited near the verandah’s rail and the door swung open. It was Mr Duffy. “Who are you?” he said looking puzzled, “I was told Denyse Simpson here, and I can see she is not.”

“Mr Duffy” I say quietly, and watch as he lifts his cup of tea from the saucer as I can tell he’s thinking how much time till the bell rings and recess is over. “I was Denyse Simpson, and you were my teacher..but now I’m Denyse Whelan and I’m a teacher too.”

And that’s  when I to reassure him right away of my reason for visiting at the time of his “cup of tea” at Recess. I pull out my photo of me in Grade 6 and point out that he, Mr Duffy, had been the one teacher in my primary school years who had seen the qualities of a teacher in me. The way he encouraged that was to appoint me as the chief library prefect in Grade 6 where I continued to learn about how it is to teach and learn.

The bell rings. Cup of tea drained. Mr Duffy shakes my hand and says “well, that’s been nice to know” and leaves. I look at this man, within this school setting and remember with great affection why I became a teacher. I know too, that he is a modest self-effacing man & he’s a bit embarrassed by my words.

I returned to my old school and classroom in 1968 to do my first teaching practice and loved it! Mr Duffy had retired by then I think. I was made to be a teacher and Mr Duffy helped me realise that!

The list of schools in N.S.W. where I was a teacher, school executive and principal.

Update: I am now retired from all work in teaching but will always be interested in why people choose teaching as a career. This post reminds me of what I did! 

My husband, also now a retired teacher, and I met in the country teaching days and last week he went back to one of his schools, where I also taught after him. Here’s a photo of Fairfax Public School….and the classroom where I taught kids from K-2 in one room in 1971-72.

Do you have fond memories of a teacher from your school days?

Have you ever said thanks to someone who may have inspired you to choose a career?

Adding a P.S. I’ve just read over at Sammie’s blog this: about marrying a teacher! We are married teachers, me and hub, so that makes us..happy!!

Young Married Teachers and their first born!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays.

On Thursdays I link with Leanne and friends here for Loving’ Life.

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Proud to Be Public. 2017.63.

Proud to Be Public. 2017.63.

I’ve been a proud supporter of public education since 1954 when I started school in Gwynneville.

I even recall turning down the opportunity to attend a private girls’ school for my high school years in Sydney.

I am not sure of what kept me so loyal to public education but from the time I joined the ranks as a professional I stayed with that loyalty.

Do not get me wrong however, as I also believe in parental choice for schooling.

I just preferred both the system I knew and was proud of for our children’s education as well as where I worked.

Now, one time I have been particularly proud of public education in NSW is when the MAJOR live event called The Schools Spectacular is on.

From the mid 1980s until the NSW Government determined to change the buildings and surrounds at Darling Harbour, the ‘school spec’ was held at the Sydney Enterainment Centre. We first attended in its second year, and from then on, every few years and when grandchildren were part of the multi-thousand casts from NSW schools I was there!!

A most poignant attendance for me was my last one. In November 2014 we already knew we were moving away from Sydney and family. It was the last chance to attend a Schools Spectacular at the EntCent so knowing I had my eldest granddaughter in this one it was important. I took one granddaughter who would be starting school the following year, and on the day, met up with my daughter (a teacher in NSW public schools too) and two of her kids (two more of my lovely grandkids in their teens).

We got to see this. I watched it again last week and knew I had to share it.

The person playing the Army Nurse (red cape, and at the end in the coat) is my eldest granddaughter. The first two of the young men playing soldiers are friends of hers from then school. This is 2014 and they have all left school now. My granddaughter and her friends were part of the NSW Public Schools Drama Ensemble and this the reason for their inclusion.

My granddaughter was in top 10% for drama that year in the HSC, and after her gap year, auditioned and was accepted into AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) where she is now in the second year majoring in film production.

Grandma is very proud to introduce Jessica Gosling!

And, this talented young woman has started something different..for women, about women. Here she is,

. Her channel on YouTube explains it all. Go!

So, this is one more reason I am proud to be a supporter of Public Education!

Have you ever been to the Schools Spectacular?

If you want to know more: here is the link to the page.

It sets records for the largest number of performers around the world I believe!

Did you attend concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre?

Denyse.

Joining friends who blog on Tuesdays, here with Kylie Purtell.

I think that Leanne will enjoy this post too…and I am joining her and other bloggers for Lovin’ Life Linky here. 

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Casual Teacher Ready To Teach! 2017.48.

Casual Teacher Ready To Teach! 2017.48.

I developed a ‘classroom-in-a-box’ for my first day back teaching in a classroom after some years in June 2012.

I am a K-6 teacher who likes to be prepared for all contingencies – ok, I am ‘over-preparer’ – because as a former K-6 principal I know that casual teachers cannot necessarily be guaranteed to:

  • know exactly what class or grade they will take even though they might have been engaged to teach a particular one because between the time of engagement and the reality of that school day, plans might need changing
  • have equipment and resources for a day in the classroom made available to them, particularly if it’s not been known that the teacher they replace was to be absent
  • be given any guidance or plan for the day as schools are incredibly busy and dynamic places
    get a chance to do any kind of preparation on arrival at school, e.g. photocopying etc.
  • So, what went into my (self-titled) ‘Classroom In a Box’?

This post brought back memories of sharing these photos as slides to the new and upcoming teachers who were students I tutored back in 2013 and 2014 at a Sydney University. If anyone reading here wishes to use any of my ideas or the photos they are copyright free by me for personal use by teachers.

Denyse.

Linking up with Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays. I hope you’ve enjoyed my education and schooling posts over the years! See below:

News from Denyse:

I have LOVED presenting posts about education and schooling here each Tuesday since January 2015. In fact there have been more than 100 original posts!! Before then I also linked up to I Blog On Tuesdays from 2012 onwards whenever I had a new post. I am reducing my blogging output now and I will be only posting on Tuesday intermittently. I will continue to be a blog reader and commenter as past of the I Blog On Tuesdays team. This is not saying goodbye but I am taking care of myself and blogging less! I wrote about why here.

 

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Creative Learning. 2017.42.

Creative Learning. 2017.42.

My Tuesday posts have been about Education and Schooling since I started the new look blog in January 2015.

I am branching out today to write about what I have learned about being creative. I am educating myself!

In the past I might have given myself a go at some art or some kind of scrapbooking or even some making craft.

I did classes and I liked some of what I learned.

But I learned something about myself. It was that I don’t actually enjoy a formal lesson because as soon as I had them I found my creativity drying up. No-one actually criticised me I guess except myself. I did not measure up to what I thought a product should look like.

Until 2013.

I was enjoying playing with art and craft (an old Infants teacher never forgets doing that with little kids!) with my grandchildren but I felt I needed more. Then I was introduced to a website here and fun challenge called Index Card a Day.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and I discovered another love. Making mandalas. It was a match made in creative heaven. I had bare minimum of a lesson via a book, and got some materials and then I let my creative self take charge.

This is why I now love my creative learning. It is self-paced. I am not afraid of sharing because I already like the process and the product is secondary.

Taking the pressure off has made the world of difference! I can see that this is something that may affect others who are creative in terms of art, music, drama, writing and photography.

Has something like this occurred for you or someone you know?

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell and bloggers here who blog on Tuesdays.

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Post from The Archives. 2017.38.

Post from The Archives. 2017.38.

In 2012 I was blogging in a number of different fields and one was education based. On this occasion I wrote a lengthy post about how I became a teacher in the late 1960s. So much has changed since then, in many cases ‘not for the good.’ Whilst teachers now have to complete at least a Bachelor’s Degree and add a Masters in some cases, there is far less emphasis in the subjects that will be taught and how to teach them. We had to study every one of the subjects and areas of knowledge we would be using in teaching.  The first kids I ever taught would now be in their mid-late 50s. How scary is that!

If you read on, and through the details, I would love to know what your experiences of teachers may have been when you were in primary school.

Denyse.

Joining here with Kylie Purtell and friends for I Blog On Tuesdays.

DENYSE becomes A TEACHER.

I was the first cohort of students to complete the Higher School Certificate in 1967. Once passed, I was then offered a Commonwealth scholarship to the new Macquarie University to do secondary teaching. However, my passion was with the younger children, and I waited my time & received a NSW Education Department Scholarship to study Primary School teaching at Balmain Teachers’ College.

This was the beginning of the biggest population explosion in outer Sydney, and there were a number of teachers’ colleges set up rather quickly after the 1960s to cater for a huge rise in kids who needed teachers! The first year of training was general primary school, and then in second year we could choose  – Infants (mine) Primary or Small Schools (an option only for men, and my husband chose this one when he was at Armidale Teachers’ College)

The scholarship paid me $22 a fortnight, and I signed a bond to teach anywhere in NSW for a period of 3 years after fulfilling training. I attended the full-time training program for 2 years, completing 18 subjects.

We were taught how to teach & these subjects:

english, mathematics, social studies,natural science, writing, reading, physical education, music, drama, speech, spelling, art, craft, listening, library, child behaviour, handwriting, psychology of child development.

We had practical assessments which included:

telling the class of other teacher trainees a ‘story’, showing them a picture & eliciting responses from questions we had carefully planned, demonstrated dancing and gymnastic techniques, made craft objects step by step,

We had 18 examination subjects over 2 weeks at the conclusion of the two years. There had been a series of exams in first year too.

We were placed in four different teaching practice schools where we were supervised by the class teacher, and we were supervised by personnel from the Teachers College. We needed to teach in different class types and schools. I taught Year 3 and Year 2 back at the Primary School I attended. I was also a teacher on Kindergarten in the northern beaches, and a Year 1 in Neutral Bay.

The School I attended for Yrs 5 & 6 and where I returned for 2 ‘pracs’. I got to re-visit in 2011.

We needed to write full lesson plans, and then teach to them, and evaluate them. We needed to mark the work of the students, keep the children under control, and do the other duties expected of the classroom teachers. We were able to write a shorter version of our day book once we were deemed as a pass for practice teaching. The lesson plan books were huge, and each night would involved writing out the entire day, and then getting the lessons ready, and arriving at school in time to let the teacher run an eye over it. There were no stencils as such.

There was a requirement for me, a left-hander, to learn how to write on the blackboard with chalk using only my right hand. Without practice (and I had to do lots) and then passing the practical examination I would not have been allowed to teach. Each teacher-to-be in New South Wales had to score 100% on a spelling test based on Year 5-6 words. We all had to pass a musical ability test of playing an instrument (recorders were very popular) and singing a solo in front of the group and teacher. We had to pass a practical mathematics test with the ‘new and revolutionary’ Cuisenaire Rods as they would form the practical teaching tools in Maths in the Infants Classroom.

After the exams were finished, our results were posted on a board. In the grounds of the teachers’ college. Then another list went up, the schools we had been appointed to. Beforehand I recall a talk given by the NSW Department of Education officers who advised us about superannuation. We were all appointed by the Department of Education anyway, but there was a tiny detail on the super forms. Women got to tick age 55 or age 60 for retirement benefits. I ticked 55. It turned out four years later, as a married woman to another teacher that I was able to “opt out” of super, and to my regret I did.

I was given a teaching post to Barraba. Not in Sydney. Not in the newly formed outer suburbs called as a collective Green Valley. I was going to a Central School – K-12 and it was a good 6 hours from my parents’ home in Sydney, and I was pleased. I was going to a new place, close to where the current BF was working (not the hub) and my parents drove me to Barraba at the end of January 1970, for Miss Simpson to start her teaching career. Firstly we needed to suss out a place for me to live, and on hearing from the school’s deputy that there was a vacancy in a teachers’ share house nearby, I was in! The next day, 27 January 1970 I began paid work as a teacher on a K/1 in the Infants Department.

That is how I became qualified to teach in New South Wales schools run by the Department of Education.

 

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School Kids’ Progress T1. 2017.34.

School Kids’ Progress T1. 2017.34.

Around the middle of first term at school this experienced Primary School teacher/principal (and parent/grandparent) predicts ten things may be true…and they may also be for those first timers, the ones whose kids have just started school. 

Are you ready for this?

ONE: Your child will quote the ‘teacher says’ and be adamant that all the ‘teacher says’ is right.

TWO: Your child will call you by the teacher’s name at least once. Conversely your child will also call the teacher “mummy/daddy” at least once.

THREE: The school uniform items (shoes, hats, jumpers) you lovingly labelled – in laundry marker AND an iron-on label for good measure will still “get lost”.

FOUR: Having spent money on new items as above because “no hat no play,” rules are enforced, the “old” item will miraculously turn up.

FIVE: There will be one week where you will promise your child that he or she can have some money to spend at the canteen and your child will buy something you have never heard of called a “zingy zong healthy treat something” and your child declares it ‘best food ever.’

SIX: The school newsletter will have news about how well the new children have settled into their new routine at ‘big’ school and you think ‘erm, but I have noticed’ at least one child crying as they are led by the hand into class each day. Life at school.

SEVEN: You are glad to know this is not your child -this time! You also feel a great deal of empathy for the new K/P kids and their teachers as settling into something as new as school is hard – for everyone!

EIGHT: The school will send home a note about a mufti-day to raise funds for a special cause and somehow, along the communication route, you forgot and your child arrives in school uniform that day…but luckily her/his sibling is in the car and of a similar size so a ‘quick change’ occurs leaving a puzzled sibling wondering if he or she is going to school now too.

NINE: You are just beginning to realise why school is good for the kids when you see how much time you have for all the things you want to do …. this is a cheeky point…just seeing if you are reading LOL.

TEN: You will look closely at your Kinder/Prep child’s face as you kiss him/her goodnight  and wonder, “where did my little one go? I now have a school kid!”

So half-way(ish) through Term One, congratulate yourselves parents! You are getting there…right?

Tell me how it’s going with your school-age children? High school too!

Denyse.

Linking with almost seasoned school mum Kylie Purtell here for I Blog on Tuesdays.

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When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

When You Know You KNOW. 2017.30.

It is said that ‘when you know…you know.’ Do you agree?

I could apply it to some life choices I’ve made, including the acceptance of my now husband’s proposal.

Sometimes it can be applied to finishing up…leaving..stopping…whatever life is bringing you.

For me, the time I knew what I knew was here:

More than a year prior to when this photo was taken, I had retired from my University tutor/marker role. I still continued to have my small consultancy to pre-schools open but it too was brought to a halt thanks to the distance from the workplace and where we now lived but I also knew it was time. I loved continuing with teacher development  as an External Observer with NSW Board of Studies in 2015, however, changes to the structure there meant that my qualifications no longer met the new standards and that worked well for me to say goodbye.

There was ONE more professional role I enjoyed. It did not pay me, nor would I want it too. It was, however, a wonderful place and space in which to share my experiences and be part of a highly engaged professional community. This is via meetings called Teach Meets. And it was to be held back in Sydney’s Northern Beaches at my old High School! Of course I wanted to speak..and have a last look around my ‘old school’ from the 1960s!!

This post tells much more about the talk I gave that evening.

But, something within in me KNEW that this would be the last time I would be involved in any paid/volunteer role in education and I felt both glad and sad. However, I KNEW it was what I knew and I was so pleased to have made the choice for myself.

Here. Where I went to High School from age 12-17. Where I had decided to become a teacher if my HSC results were good enough. They were.

Manly Girls High School in my day..now a Senior School for Yrs 11 & 12 on Northern Beaches

It was the right choice! Both to start…and to stop..here!

1962. First cohort for the ‘new’ Wyndham Scheme HS kids. 6 years of HS. I am second from left 3rd row.

Some parts of the school were unchanged since I left in 1967.

I loved having a personalised tour from the Principal of my ‘old school’. Much had changed, but this view had not. From the ‘canteen’ area.

Giving my final talk as part of Teach Meet in August 2015. I have no regrets. I have an amazing number of memories. I also remain in touch with educators via social media and continued to enjoy the conversations but I am glad to no longer have any professional responsibilities.

Last time for this!

I’m a great believer in knowing when to go!

Are you?

What decisions did you make because you ‘knew’?

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here and the bloggers who Blog On Tuesdays.

Linking with Leanne for Lovin Life here on Thursdays.

 

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